The World Beyond the Pandemic: The Future of Work and Education

January 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic, technological disruption, globalisation reset and changing employee preferences have reshaped the way we work and learn. Businesses need to adopt new working models and become more flexible, people-centric and digitally-enabled to build post-pandemic resilience. At the same time, the education system must adapt to a fast-changing world, become more responsive to labour market needs and prepare current and future generations for the jobs of tomorrow.

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Key Findings

Hybrid working as the new norm

Hybrid working will be part of the post-pandemic future, as it offers a range of benefits, including greater flexibility, increased productivity and job satisfaction. Adoption of digital technologies will be essential in the transition to a hybrid working model.

Workplace flexibility improves work-life balance

Workplace flexibility is a top priority for prospective employees as they seek a strong work-life balance. Flexible work arrangements offer greater autonomy and flexibility in balancing personal and professional lives and help increase employee loyalty, productivity and engagement.

Increasing focus on employee health and wellbeing

As working from home has blurred the boundaries between work and personal life, companies increasingly need to prioritise employee wellbeing and mental health. Employees now expect a holistic package of wellbeing benefits, including financial and mental health benefits.

Blended learning is the future of education

In the fast-changing world, people will need to embrace lifelong learning in order to grow and succeed personally and professionally. Due to the accelerating pace of technology adoption, many people will have to reskill and upskill in the coming years to prepare for the jobs of tomorrow.

Rising importance of lifelong learning

Digital transformation has accelerated in the education industry during the pandemic. Blended learning that combines in-person instruction with online learning will continue to rise in popularity, offering more personalised, interactive and inclusive learning experiences.

Key findings
The world beyond the pandemic in depth
The pandemic-induced labour market crisis
The Great Resignation in developed economies
Sluggish productivity growth and increasing inequality
COVID-19 pandemic has created major disruptions in the global education system
Future of work and education
Short-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on business operations
Expanding remote working is a top priority for most businesses
Technology sector to continue leading expansion of remote work in the future
Investment in digital tools and improving communications to support operational continuity
A shift to hybrid work model in the long term will require new management practices
Case study: Grammarly embraces “remote-first hybrid” working model
Companies adopt flexible working models to improve work-life balance
Case study: HubSpot extends flexible work policies amid the COVID-19 pandemic
Rising investments in employee health and welfare
Reimagining the office space
Case study: Fujitsu transforms its office to boost creativity and collaboration
COVID-19: impact on education
Rising inequality in education and widening academic achievement gap
Low educational attainment in less developed economies
Increasing number of young people neither in education nor employment
Surge in global online education in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
Empowering teachers with digital technologies
Rapidly expanding edtech sector
Case study: Udemy witnesses a surge in online course enrolment amid the pandemic
Education system needs to adapt to a fast-changing world
Competences for students to thrive in the digital age
COVID-19 pandemic and emerging technologies change the nature of work and skills
Top skills for the future of work
Growing importance of lifelong learning to close skills gaps
Case study: IBM pledges to reskill 30 million people globally by 2030
The future of work
Changing nature of work in the 21st century
How to future-proof your business
Preparing the workforce for the age of automation is essential
The future of education


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